Monday, March 20, 2017

Theresa Milstein & A Moment in Time

Please welcome one of my blog buddies and all around sweetheart Theresa Milstein to the blog today!
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I have a question I pose at the end of this post:
If you could relive any moment in time, what would it be?


Before you answered, I thought I should share my own answer. Then I realized how hard it is to answer this question. Sorry! I could choose the births of my children, but I don’t want to experience all of it again. I could also choose my wedding day—that was pretty great.

One of the poems in my collection is called “Un-Perfect Moment,” which was inspired by a family party a couple of years ago, dancing outside with my cousins and my daughter. Many of my aunts and uncles were there.

“those blood-bond circles of life swirl
through the past and towards the future
you sweep away in a shared moment
as hot and sweet as summer’s breath”

It panged me at the time thinking that in a year or two or five, some people might no longer be there. And that captures me entirely—even in a blissful moment, my head can’t stay there. I’m always thinking back, looking forward.

So I tried to consider if there were times when I was just present. I recalled another summer on vacation. My husband and kids wanted to take surfboarding lessons in Santa Cruz. I had no interest in doing so. They got into gear and climbed down to the ocean. I stayed on top at a small sitting area with my laptop. While I revised on that perfect-weather day with others out there enjoying the day, some older guy played guitar and sang original songs. I revised while I enjoyed the music and periodically looked out at my family, little dots upon at sun twinkled waves.

That was a very good day.


With subtle wit, and poignant imagery, the unrelenting passage of time connects the vignettes in Theresa Milstein’s Time and Circumstance. This reflective collection of real and imagined poetry and prose, speculates on an erratic childhood, the uncertainty of adolescence, and the reality of parenthood, through flashbacks of love lost and found.
Theresa Milstein writes middle grade and YA, but poetry is her secret passion. Her vignette collection, TIME & CIRCUMSTANCE, will be published by Vine Leaves Press in March 21, 2017. She lives near Boston Massachusetts with her husband, two children, a dog-like cat, and a cat-like dog. For her day job, she works as a special education teacher in a public school, which gives her ample opportunity to observe teens and tweens in their natural habitat. 

TIME & CIRCUMSTANCE is available for preorder!

$3.99 AUD (eBook)
Kindle AUS
Kindle US
Kindle UK
Kindle CA
iBooks | Kobo | Nook

$12.99 AUD (paperback)
Amazon US
Amazon UK
​Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo


Leave a comment  and you’re eligible to win a prize during my blog tour!

1 $25 Amazon gift card
1 signed paperback copy
1 ebook

Answer the question:
“If you could relive any moment in time, what would it be?”

Extra entries if you share on Facebook or Twitter and link it to me.
@TheresaMilstein on Twitter.
@Theresa Milstein on Facebook
#ReliveMoment or #TimeandCircumstance

Winners will be announced on April 5, 2017

***
Thanks Theresa! There are so many wonderful moments in a life, but finding a perfect moment to return to... so hard. I think I'd choose a bright summer day when my hubby and I were teaching the kids to play t-ball. So much laughter and joy and love. One of those days full of potential.

How about you? What's your moment?






Monday, March 6, 2017

K.A. Servian & Self Publishing

Please welcome K.A. Servian to the blog today!

***
I decided to self publish because I'm a control freak. I am in control of the creative process from start to finish and while I use a development editor and beta readers, I make the final decision as to whether or not their suggestions are implemented in the manuscript.

I was a clothing and jewellery designer for many years and came to trust my own creative judgement. Ultimately, my name is on the cover, so I should be responsible for all the decisions, including the cover-I do them myself on photoshop. 

The only disadvantage with self publishing is the lack of a support team and promotional budget. I have been gathering a team of people around me, including an editor, proof and beta readers and I also have Nas to do the final line edit, formatting and promotional side which is essential. Thank you, Nas. 

When I receive notes from my developmental editor and beta readers, I consider them carefully. If there is more than one editor and/or beta reader, I look for 'trends' in their comments. If one person suggests a change that I'm not sure about, I check to see if anyone else has suggested the same change and then make a decision. 

I've spent my working life as a designer, so my creative efforts have been judged by everyone from agents to shop owners to customers, plus I'm studying applied writing, so I'm used to tutors and fellow students critiquing my work.  

I know not to be precious about my writing or take constructive criticism personally, I see it as an opportunity to learn and improve my craft. Anyone who reveals their creative efforts to the world must accept that everyone who sees their work will have an opinion about it. Some will be positive and some negative, but if you're happy with what you've produced, then that's all that matters.

***
After a twenty-plus-year career in the applied arts industry, including owning her own fashion and jewellery labels, Kathy decided to turn her creative skills to writing fiction.

Her first novel, Peak Hill, was a finalist in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Pacific Hearts Full Manuscript contest in 2016.

Kathy now squeezes full-time study for an advanced diploma in applied writing in around writing novels and short stories, teaching sewing and pattern making and being a wife and mother.

K A Servian on the web:

Website       Facebook     Twitter     Instagram    Author Page  

Join K A Servian’s Newsletter and get a free copy of: Missing the Obvious.


Grace is trying to come to terms with her mother's death and handle the unexpected arrival of her ex-boyfriend when a mystery document she finds in a box in the attic turns her life on its head and raises questions she is compelled to answer.

In her search for the truth, she stumbles into the middle of a missing person cold case in a small town where the inhabitants have kept a secret to protect one of their own for twenty-five years. Grace's investigation unearths long-held rivalries and opens old wounds, causing the past to collide with the present with terrifying results.


Buy on:

Amazon Kindle      Amazon Paperback

Shame on Who? (Short Prequel to Throwing Light)

In 1979, fifteen-year-old Jane Smith announced to her parents that she was expecting a baby. Thirty-five years later, the repercussions of the decision made by her father on that day come home to roost in the romantic thriller 'Throwing Light.' 'Shame on Who?' is a short prequel to the book and provides insight into the dramatic events that changed Jane's life.


Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win paperback copies of Throwing Light!
***
Thanks K.A.! Being a control freak is a definite advantage if you're going to self-publish!

What about you? Any control freaks out there?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IWSG & Mobs & Cowboys, Oh My!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.


March 1 Question: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?


Short answer: Yep! And nope!

Long answer:

I have my first "Oh, maybe I can really write a novel," WIP sitting around cooling its heels on my hard drive.

Some of it is SO BAD!!! 

Surprisingly, some of it is pretty good. There are a few scenes I really like and the overall storyline has lots of fun elements (mobs, witness protection, cowboys, Italian cooking, quirky characters, gunfights, romance). Now that I know more, I think I can pull this off... one day. The story doesn't fit in with the current story/series that's occupying my time, but it could either be a stand alone or part of another series that's simmering around in the back of my brain.

Now, to find the time to write them all!

How about you? What's languishing on your hard drive that might be fun to pull out?

Monday, February 13, 2017

I Wish You Love

It's Valentine's Week! 

Okay, that's totally not a thing, but it should be!

While Valentine's Day is certainly about Romantic Love (sending all my love to my hubby!!), it's also about Love in general.

Love is an essential part of life. Without it, life would be dull, sad, and lonely. 
The world is often scary and overwhelming so it's good to remember we're often surrounded by all kinds of love.

So, my wish for you all is...

I hope you feel love
for your family
your friends
your job
yourself

I hope you find joy
In giving & receiving
I hope the little things
Make up the best part of your days

I hope you feel loved
I hope you are romanced
I hope you do some romancing of your own!

I hope love fills you up 
I hope it gives you strength and joy
I hope love surrounds you
And allows you to grow & risk

I wish you love

Enjoy the week!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Reckless Hearts & Heather Van Fleet

One of the wonderful people I met through the #PitchWars contest I entered is the summer is releasing a book today - and it sounds awesome! Can't wait to dig into it!!
***
RECKLESS HEARTS 
Between boot camp and two TOD’s in Iraq, my buddies Max, Gavin and me have been through some serious hell. So the last thing I ever expected was to find the biggest challenge of my life back home.
My girlfriend died. I couldn’t even attend her funeral, let alone tell her goodbye or that I’m sorry I wasn’t there like I should’ve been.
But she left me a gift. The best and scariest one I could’ve ever asked for. One I didn’t think I could handle…until the day I saw her tiny blues looking up at me in that airport. Chloe.
Now here I am, raising my baby girl—with the help of my two best friends. Things couldn’t be better. Until she walked into my life.
All I wanted was a nanny. Someone to take care of my girl when I couldn’t. What I didn’t count on was Addison, the brown-eyed temptress with a body of sin, and everything I didn’t need, but suddenly wanted.
To enter to win a copy, click on the link! a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also get your copy at these locations!
Amazon            BN            BAM 

Heather Van Fleet
Heather Van Fleet is stay-at-home-mom turned book boyfriend connoisseur. She’s a wife to her high
school sweetheart, a mom to three little girls, and in her spare time you can find her with her head buried in her Kindle, guzzling down copious amounts of coffee.
Heather graduated from Black Hawk College in 2003 with an associate degree and has been working in the publishing industry for over five years. She is represented by Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary.
 ***
Congrats on the release, Heather!!! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG & Reading

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

FEBRUARY 1ST QUESTION: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

Wow. Great question.

I'm much more aware as a reader now, although I still tend to get caught up in the stories. Probably always will - which isn't a bad thing. Means the writers are doing their jobs well!

I'm learning to pay attention to the way authors incorporate description. This is an area where I need a lot of work. My brain isn't visual and I really couldn't care less what colour anyone's hair is! I've gotten stronger at realizing where and when those details are helpful for the reader -- mostly thanks to crit buddies and reading books by talented authors!

How about you? Is incorporating description easy or difficult for you? What do you pay attention to as you're reading?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Rachael Thomas & Getting Past the Dreaded Block

Please welcome Rachael Thomas back to the blog today!
***
Every writer, published or not, knows what it’s like to encounter that awful demon, writer’s block. That time when you are certain every word you write is utter rubbish or worse, where you can’t write a word. It begins with a little doubt monster and very soon can get out of control, preventing you from writing anything.
It’s happened to me, but thankfully not for any length of time. So here are a few of my go to solutions. 
Write A Different Way
Writing longhand can often free up your mind. So grab a pen or pencil and pad and continue your work from the point you became blocked or even start a new scene or chapter.
Find a new place. A change of scenery often helps. It could be as simple as another room at home or a local café.
If you can’t continue with your current work in progress, try some freewriting. For instance, it is January now, so where does that take your mind? Put your pen on the page and just let your mind wander, writing down every random thought which comes to your mind for the next ten minutes.
Don’t Write
You may be wondering what kind of advice this is, but sometimes it helps to step away from the keyboard and your work in progress. Take a break and clear your mind.
Take a walk. My dog gets extra-long walks when I need thinking time to unblock my creativity.
Relax and watch your favourite television show or even a movie.
Do whatever makes you happy, as happiness generates positivity and that keeps the monster of doubt at bay, stopping it from becoming a complete block.
If the block is really bad, give yourself the rest of the day off. Tomorrow is another day.
Reward Yourself
Give yourself a small incentive if you hit your session or daily target.
For those larger targets, like reaching the half way point or completing the book, reward yourself with a bigger treat. Perhaps a day out with friends.
And Finally
Don’t wait too long for your creativity to return. Force it to come back. Tell yourself you will write just one paragraph or for ten minutes only. Taking the pressure off might be enough to get past that block. Also, always believe in yourself and your writing. Don’t allow those doubt monsters in.

If you have any others to add, I’d love to know!
***
Rachael Thomas 

I love escaping to distant shores with my characters, entering their glamorous world and feeling all the emotions they experience as they discover their love for one another. A love so strong it will overcome all obstacles eventually, leading to that promised happy ever after.
Connect with Rachael Thomas on the web:
Website         Blog        Facebook                Twitter              Goodreads

A Child Claimed by Gold (One Night with Consequences)
A scandal of their own making 

Nikolai Cunningham has kept his family history secret for seventeen years. So when photographer Emma Sanders is granted exclusive access to his childhood home, he returns to Russia to ensure it stays hidden. 
Though she tries to keep her eye on the story, Nikolai's potent sexuality proves too much for Emma's untouched body to resist! But, convinced she only wanted a scoop, Nikolai casts Emma out, unaware she's pregnant! 
When the consequence of their recklessness is revealed, Nikolai will legitimize his heir—with a gold wedding ring!
Buy Links
M&B Aust       B&N     iBooks

Enter to win signed copies on Goodreads. 
***
Thanks Rachael!

I often get attacked by the Doubt Monster - but I'm learning techniques to quiet him down! Working on a different project often helps me.

What about you? How do you get the mojo back?